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it was 1995. it was mid november. there was a forum on globalization that was taking place here at riverside, and it was there that i heard the announcement that a ragone activist had been executed in nigeria. the right here environmentalists, who had dared to take on the nexus of corporate and military power, the military dictatorship of nigeria and shell corp., which had crisscrossed his land in the niger delta the, of ghani land, which gas pipelines and above the ground, burning off the gas
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and flares the size of apartment buildings. the children of the niger delta up never knowing a dark night and yet not profiting from the drilling and taking the power out of the earth and giving it to the most powerful on earth, disempowering the host communities from which it had come. i had met him in half in 1994 when a nigerian acted this brought him into the studio of wbai. we were doing wake-up call that morning and bernard white and i sat there as he, who was not one of the schedule guess that meaning came forth. he told the story of what he was confronting in nigeria, saying the world had to know and ending
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by saying i a mmr command. he returned to nigeria, was imprisoned, was tried and he was executed. last week, as we sat in the studios of democracy now, we broadcast the voice of ken from those days on wbai, and we broadcast his son, who was announcing that they had just one a settlement with shell that took 14 years, but they would then when $15.5 million for the family and other victims and the people of the ghani land. [applause] we also played the words of ken moc father, who jeremy scahill
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and i got to meet in the niger delta when we visited three years after ken's death when he said directly to us shell is responsible for my son's death. as we sat there listening to the father, the son and grandson, who i was sitting next to judith browne chomsky. she was our guest for the hour. judith browne chomsky was one of the leading attorneys in this case that led to this landmark settlement. when i asked noam tonight how he would like to be introduced, he said tell them i am the brother-in-law of judith browne chomsky. [applause] judith is married to noam's
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younger david, david. noam was born december 7, 1928 in philadelphia. by the age of ten, he was writing an extended essay against fascism and about the spanish civil war. don't be discouraged. [applause] at 14, he was getting his education, as he tells it, in the back of the 72nd street subway station here in new york. you go up the front, that is where you buy newspapers and the french newspaper stand where people would rush by, by their papers and go but it was the back, less populated stand where the stragglers would be where his uncle ran the newspapers the and and they would sit in debate and discuss politics. that is where noam says he was getting his education. i hear that they just opened the back again, about four years
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ago, the sell side of the second st. newspapers dam. maybe they are little concerned about some young chomsky's getting educated for the future. within two years, that education clearly got him fourth because that 16 he was at the university of pennsylvania. he went on to be, to the harvard society of fellows, where he continued his research into linguistics. by 1953 chomsky had broken entirely from the field as it existed. he became a professor at the university of massachusetts, massachusetts institute of technology in 1955 at the age of 26. i forgot to say he had already got his ph.d. again at the university of pennsylvania. and while he broke ground as the new world renowned linguist,
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shattering all previous paradigms' in linguistics in the world i know very little about-- [applause] he was also taking on the war in vietnam. so much so that his lifetime partner, his wife carol, went back to school to get her graduate degree in linguistics so that she could be, if need be, the breadwinner if noam was imprisoned. that is how she described it. she went on to be a professor at the harvard graduate school of education of linguistics and also broke ground on child language acquisition. noam and carol have known each other since i think he was three and he only lost carol a few months ago, this lifetime partnership, had a great model for relationships. his personal life also a model
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for all of us of what it means to live a life of integrity. in democracy now, we have interviewed noam many times, and they think about 2,002. it was around midnight. it was may 20 at. journalist how in aaron and i have written the east timor. it was a momentous time. after a quarter of the century of slaughter of genocide, the people of east timor were celebrating their freedom, those who had survived the indonesian military had killed of one-third of the population. i remember that night clearly as kofi annan and the general took the stage as they were handing over the power from the united nations to the people of east timor and the rebel leader of
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east timor, the founding president of east timor, ascended to the podium and unfurled the flag of the democratic republic of east timor. the light of the fireworks was reflected in the tear stained faces of the people of timor. they have resisted and they had won at an unbelievably high price, but they have won. we were broadcasting this historic moment over the airwaves of the pacific radio throughout united states and at that moment we called noam, because it was noam chomsky, since 1975, actually on his birthday on december 7th when indonesia invaded east timor, and never let this story dye and so many of his books, so much of his writing, so many of his speeches often introduce people this point on a map, so many
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thousands of miles from moss and he let people know what was happening in your name. it was noam who told us about what was happening in timor and lead us to take those trips to try to expose what was happening. i'll bet almost everyone here tonight in this sanctuary has this story about discovering noam's writings or his voice or his words and how it has changed your life. when i most affected as it traveled the country the young soldiers to come up to me and when i asked them what made the difference, why they turned, why they could be, how they could be so brave and courageous in resisting war, so often these young men and women will say, some one-handed me a book of noam chomsky. [applause]
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rn dowdey roy said something wonderful about noam in your book, wortock, who spoke here in may of 2003. she has a chapter, the loneliness of noam chomsky where she writes, when i first read noam chomsky it occurred to me that his marshaling of the evidence, the volume of it, the relentlessness of it was a little, how shall i put it, insane. even a quarter of the evidence he compiled would have been enough to convince me. i used to wonder why he needed to do so much work but now i understand the magnitude and intensity of chomsky's work is a barometer of that magnitude, scope and relentlessness of the propaganda machine that he is up against. he is like the wood or who lives inside the third rack of my
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bookshelf day and night i hear his jaws crunching through the wood, grinding it to a fine dust. it is as though he disagrees with the literature and wants to destroy the very structure on which it rests. i call him jump skeet. being an american, working in america writing to convince americans of his pointed you must really be like having to tunnel through hardwood. chomsky is one of a small band of individuals fighting a coal industry and that makes them not only brilliant, but heroic. [applause] his work, so prolific, his personal support for so many so important. just this afternoon norm finkelstein was telling me how he had visited nome one summer at the beginning when he came
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back at the end and noam had already written two books, so he said to a friend, noam just finished two books and his friend said, so i read two books this summer to. he said no, but he wrote them. [laughter] and a think calling noam chomsky in turkey, it was february of 2002. he had not just gone there to speak, but to stand with the young publisher, who was facing years in prison for publishing noam chomsky's work. i called noam to interview him before he went to court, not knowing what would happen to him as well. when i rang him up, he answered the phone and he said amy, do you know what time it is? i thought i had calculated correctly. it is 4:00 in the morning.
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i can call you back. he said, no, i am up now. let's talk. it is that bravery, that courage, noam's resistance to the war in vietnam and his writing about the wars in vietnam, the death squads in latin america, what happened to vietnam in cambodia, what is happening today in israel and palestine, his opposition to the wars in iraq, his relentlessness that is such an inspiration to us all. i think, looking at the essential chomsky edited by anthony arnove, this bookcase that is on the cover is filled with noam chomsky's books. he has written over 100 of them and you is not just writing. because, when he explodes the allies, he is saving lives,
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because the lies take lives. i don't know who said this quote, but someone once said, i think back on my life at all the times that thought it went too far and i realize now i didn't go far enough. well, i think noam chomsky has clearly gone the distance, and as we celebrate his 80 years, i am encouraged by a woman, who told me about celebrating her grandmother's 106 the burke the ander grand mother stood up at your party and said, to be 100 again. we look forward to hearing noam chomsky for many years to come, beginning with tonight. noam chomsky.
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[applause] [applause] [applause] >> thanks. it was really exciting to watch amy a couple of days ago when she was interviewing judy. it is an amazing achievement. i want to go to the whole story but she took a lot of courage and effort to win a completely
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unprecedented case and i don't think there's ever been a case of a settlement like that that was where the evidence, which she did in fact gather in that jury, was so strong the corporation not only settle but even allowed the settlement to be public, indicating their concern that they might be exposed in a trial. well, let me say a couple of words about the title, which has always is shorthand. there is too much nuance and variety to make any sharp distinction between the class of them and of course neither i nor anyone else can presume to speak for us, but i will pretend it is possible. it is also a problem that the word crisis, which one do we have in mind? there are numerous very severe
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crises. many of them will be under discussion here in a couple of weeks at the united nations, in their conference on the world financial and economic crisis. these crises are interwoven in very complex ways, which make, which preclude any sharp separation but again, i will pretend otherwise for simplicity. one way to enter this morass provided by a current issue of the new york review dated yesterday. the front cover headline reads, how to deal with the crisis, features a symposium specialist, and it is worth reading. but, with attention to a definite article, the crisis. for the west, the phrase, the crisis, has a clear enough meaning. it is the financial crisis that
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hit the rich countries and therefore is of supreme importance. but, in fact, even for the rich and privileged that is by no means the only crisis or by no means the most severe that they face another see the world quite differently. for example, the newspaper, a new nation in bangladesh, there we read it is very telling that trillions have already been spent to patch up leading world financial institutions, while out of the comparatively small sum of $12 million pledged in rome earlier this year to offset the food crisis, only 1 billion has been delivered. the hope that it leased extreme poverty can be eradicated by the end of 2015 as stipulated in the u.n.'s millenium development
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goals seems as unrealistic as ever, not due to lack of resources but to a lack of true concern for the world's poor. they are talking about approximately a billion people facing starvation, severe malnutrition, even 30, 40 million of them in the richest company-- country in the world. that is a real crisis and it is getting worse. in this morning's financial times, british business press it is reported that the world food program just announce they are cutting food aid and russians and also closing operations. the reason is that the donor countries have been cutting back in funding because of the fiscal crunch and they are slashing contributions. a very close connection between the her in this food crisis and
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the poverty crisis and the significance of less significant fiscal crisis, they are closing down operations in rwanda, uganda, ethiopia and many others. they have a 20, 25% cut in budget and while food prices are rising and the financial crisis and the economic crisis is bringing unemployment and cutting back remittances, that is a major crisis that we might incidentally remember, that when the british landed in what is now bangladesh, they were stunned by its wealth and splendor, and it didn't take long for it to be on its way to become the very symbol of misery, not by an act of god. well, the fate of bangladesh should remind us that the terrible food crisis is not just
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the result of western lack of concern. in large part, it results from a very definite in clear concerns of the global managers, namely that are on welfare. it is always well to keep in mind, an astute observation by adam smith about policy formation in england. he recognized that we called the principal architects the policy. in his day the merchants and manufacturers, make sure that their own interests are of most peculiarly attended to, however grievous the impact on others, including the people of england, but far more so those who were subjected to what he called the savage injustices of the europeans and particularly in conquered india, as the prime concern. we can easily think of m blocks
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today. hits observation in fact is one of the few solid and enduring principles of international and domestic affairs. well to keep in mind. at the food crisis is a case in point. it erupted first and most dramatically in haiti in the early 2008, and like bangladesh, haiti is a symbol of the utter misery. like bangladesh, when the european explorers arrived, they said they were stunned because it was so remarkably rich in resources. later it became the source of much of france's wealth. i am not going to run through this sordid history but the current food crisis traces back directly to woodrow wilson's invasion of haiti, which was
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murderous and brutal and destructive. among wilson's many crimes was to dissolve the haitian parliament at gunpoint, because if refused to pass what was called progressive legislation which would allow u.s. businesses to take over haitian lance. wilson marines then ran a free election in which the legislation was passed by 99.9% of the vote. that is of the 5% of the population permitted to vote. all of this comes down to us as what is called wilsonian idealism. later hus aid instituted programs in haiti under the slogan of turning haiti into the taiwan of the caribbean by adhering to the sacred principle of comparative advantage. that is, they should import from
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the united states while working people, mostly women, slaves under miserable conditions in u.s.-owned assembly plants. katie's first free election in 1990 threatened these economically rational programs, making the mistake of entering the political arena and electing their own candidate, the populist priest in washington instantly adopted standard operating procedures, moving at once to undermine the regime alaikum bulb months later came the military coup and a korbel reign of terror which was backed by bush, bush won an even more so by clinton. by 1994, clinton decided that the population was sufficiently intimidated and he sent u.s. forces to restore the elected
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president. that is now called the humanitarian intervention, among strict conditions, namely that the president accept the harsh regime, in particular no protection for the economy. haitian rice farmers are quite efficient, but they can't compete with u.s. agribusiness that relies on a huge government subsidies, thanks to ronald reagan's free market enthusiasms. well, there's nothing else apprising about what followed next. in 1995 the usaid rode a report pointing out, the export driven trade and investment policy that washington mandated will relentlessly squeezed the domestic rice farmer. in fact that the liberal policies ramp down haiti's throat destroyed, dismantle what
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was left of the economic sovereignty, drove the country into chaos and that was accelerated by bush number two banning of international aid on totally cynical grounds. in february 2004, the two traditional tortures of haiti, france and the united states, combined to back a military coup and send president aristide off to africa. the u.s. denies him permission to return to the entire region. haiti had by then lost the capacity to feed itself, making it highly vulnerable to food price fluctuation. that was the immediate cause of the 2008 food crisis, which led to the riots and enormous protests, but not getting food. this story is familiar. in fact, quite similar and in much of the world, so going back
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to the bangladesh newspaper, it is true enough that the food crisis results from western lack of concern, a pittance by our standards would overcome its worst immediate effects but more fundamentally it results from the dedication to adam smith's principles of business run state policy. these are all matters that we too easily evade that happen daily, along with the fact that bailing out banks is not an uppermost in the minds of the billion people now facing starvation, not forgetting the tens of millions enduring hunger in the richest country in the world. also sidelined, and there is an easy way to make significant dents in the financial and the food crisis. it is suggested by the
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publication a couple of days ago of the authoritative annual report on military spending by a swedish peace research institute the scale of military spending is the nominal and regularly increasing last year as well. the u.s. is responsible for almost as much as the rest of the world combined, seven times as much as its nearest rival, china. this distribution of concerns reflects another crisis here, kind of a cultural crisis. that is, the tendency to focus on short-term parochial gains. it is a core element of our socioeconomic institutions and the ideological support system on which they rest one example
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no prominent is the array of perverse incentives that are devised for corporate managers to enrich themselves. for example what is called the too big to fail insurance policies that are provided by the unwitting public and deeper ones. there just inherent in market inefficiencies. one such inefficiency, the now recognized and one of the roots of the financial crisis is the underpricing of systemic risk, the risk that affects the whole system. so, for example, if you and i make the transaction, say you sell me a car, we may make a good deal for ourselves but we don't price into that transection the cost of the others, and there is cost. pollution, congestion, raising the price of gas and all sorts
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of other things, killing people in nigeria because we are getting the gas from them. that doesn't count, we don't count that in. that is an inherent market inefficiency, one of the reasons why markets can't work and when you turn to the financial institutions to get quite serious, so it means if goldman sachs, if they are managed properly, if they make it risky loan, they calculate the potential cost to themselves. but they simply don't calculate the impact on the whole financial system and we now see how severe that can be. not that it is anything new. in fact, this inherent the efficiency of markets is-- in efficiency of markets is perfectly well-known. ten years ago, at the height of the euphoria about efficient markets, two prominent economists, and john e. well and
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lance taylor, they wrote an important book called global finance risk, in which this bill dealt the consequences of these market inefficiencies, which we now see, and they outlined means to deal with them. these proposals were exactly contrary to the deregulatory rage that was then being carried forward by the clinton administration under the leadership of those who obama has now called upon to put band-aids on the disaster that they helped create. in substantial measure, the food crisis plaguing much of the self and the financial crisis of the north has common roots, namely the shift towards neoliberalism since the 1970's.
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that brought to an end the post-war, bretton woods system that was instituted by the united states and ridden right after world war ii. i had to architects, john maynard keynes, harry dexter white in the united states and the anticipated that its core principles, which included capital controls and regulated currencies, they anticipated that these principles would lead to a relatively balanced economic growth and would also free governments to institute the social democratic programs, welfare state programs, that had enormous public support around the world into a large extent they were vindicated on both counts. in fact many economists called the years that followed until the 1970's the golden age of capitalism. that golden age lead not only to unprecedented and relatively
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egalitarian growth, but also the introduction of welfare state measures, keynes in white or perfectly well aware that free capital movement and speculation inhibit these options. professional economics, literature, points out it should be obvious that the free flow of capital creates what is sometimes called a virtual senate of lenders and investors who carry out a moment by moment referendum on government policies and if they find that they are irrational, meaning they help people instead of profits, then they vote against them by capital flight, by tax on the country and so on. so, the democratic governments have made to look-- duel constituency, their own population in the virtual senate the typically prevail and for the poor, that means regular
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disaster. one of the differences, one of the reasons for the radical difference between latin america and east asia in the last half century is that latin america didn't control capital flight. in fact, in general the rich in latin america don't have responsibilities. capital flight approximated the crushing debt. in contrast, during south korea's remarkable growth period, capital flight could bring the death penalty. one of many factors that led to the surprising divergence latin america has much richer resources then you would expected to be, far more advanced than ease déjà but it have the disadvantage of being under imperialists wing's. from the 1970's, the golden age
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faded. win neal liberal rules were observed and so far as they have been observed, economic performance deteriorated and social democratic programs have been substantially weakened. we see that right here. the united states parslow accepted these rules and for the past 30 years, real wages for the majority of the population have stagnated. up until then they essentially tracked growth. work hours have increased well beyond europe. benefits, which have always lagged, have declined in social indicators, a kind of a general nature of the help of a society, they also attract growth until the mid-1970s when they began to decline, and reaching the 1960 level by the end of the millennium. there has been economic growth but it is finding its way into
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very few pockets, increasingly into the financial industries which have grown enormously well protected the industry has significantly declined. we are seeing it right now and with the decline of productive industry, of course that means a decline in living standards. in fact the opportunities to survive for much of the workforce. the economy has also been punctuated by bubbles of financial crises in public bailouts, so the huge bailout of citigroup right now is nothing new, something quite similar happened in the early '80s, thanks to the u.s. taxpayer. these results were described all to this period and explained by if you really outstanding international economist.
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but the mythology about efficient markets of rational choice have prevailed and that is not at all surprising. these myths were highly beneficial to a very narrow sectors of privilege and power. what adam smith called the principal architects of policy. that is another very severe institutional and cultural crisis, which persists. actually the phrase golden age of capitalism is a little misleading. it might more accurately be called a state capitalism. it is worth bearing in mind that the dynamic state sector that was and remains a primary factor in the development and innovation through a variety of measures and research and development, procurement, government procurement of the public subsidy, of regular bailout send other means.
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that is particularly true in the united states. it was done here deray pentagon cover, as long as the cutting age of high-tech industry advanced economy was electronics based, depending on-- and in recent years to look at government spending is the shifting more towards the health oriented institutions of the government. that is a reflection of the fact that the cutting edge of the economy is becoming more biology base. that includes computers, the internet, satellites, most of the rest of the i.t. revolution that finally exploded in the late 90's in a tech bubble, but also much else, civilian aircraft and advanced machine tools, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and a lot more. the crucial role of the state in economic development should be kept in mind when we read these
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days dire warnings about government intervention in the financial system after private management has once again driven it to ruins. this time, unusually severe crisis than one that harms the rich, not just the pour saud merris special concern. it is also worth recalling that large scale state intervention of the economy is nothing new. on the contrary it has always been a central factor in economic development. i wish i had time, there's no time to review it here but the history, which i will skip, is quite instructive. the state guided modes of economic development require considerable deceit in a society where the public can't be controlled by force, so people can't be told that the advanced economy relies heavily on the
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principle that the population pays the costs and takes the risks, and that the profits is eventually privatize, and eventual can be a long time, sometimes decades, computers in the internet for example. after world war ii, americans were told that their taxes were going to support defense against monsters about to overcome must. that is why it was under pentagon cover. so, for example in the mid-60's, when lbj warn that there were only 150 million of us and there were 3 billion of them and if might makes right, they are going to sweep over us and take what we have so we have to stop them in vietnam. if that sounds familiar, it is because it is. for those who are concerned to understand the realities of the
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whole cold war system of control of public, it is in a very obvious moment to inspect carefully. that is just 20 years ago, at the time of the fall of the berlin wall and what followed later. now, the celebration of the 20th anniversary this november, it has already begun with ample coverage. that is going to surely increase as the date approaches, but the very real feeling policy implications of what follow have been ignored, as in the past and probably it this coming november except on democracy now. what happened after the berlin wall fell? the bush one administration reacted immediately. issued a new national security strategy and a budget proposal, which laid out what our new course will be after the
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collapse of what kennedy called the monolithic and ruthless conspiracy to conquered the world, reagan's evil empire was gone and now that it was gone, the whole framework began to collapse. so, what was the response of the planets, the bush administration? very straightforward. in brief, everything will go on exactly as before but with new pretext, so we still need the same huge military system but for a new reason, literally because of the technological sophistication of third world powers. and nobody laughs. [laughter] we have to maintain what they called the defense industrial base. it is a standard euphemism for high-tech industry. the system whereby the public pays the cost and takes the
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risks and high tech industry gets the profits. we also they said have to maintain intervention forces directed mostly at the middle east, and then comes this interesting phrase directed at the middle east aware the threats to our interests that require military intervention could not be laid at the kremlin's door. in other words, sorry folks, we have been lying to you for 50 years but now the clouds have lifted, so you can see if you choose to, and you chose to. the fate of nato is very instructive and highly pertinent right now. prior to gorbachev, nato's announced purpose was to deter a russian invasion of europe. it was often a little hard to take seriously. for example in 1945, in may,
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1945, winston churchill ordered war plans to be drawn up for what they called operation unthinkable that was aimed at quote the elimination of russia. the plans, which were declassified ten years ago, quoted, called for a surprise attack by hundreds of thousands of british and american troops joined by 100,000 rearms german shoulders while the raf, british air force one attack soviet cities from bases in northern europe and pretty soon nuclear weapons were added to the mix. all of this was the classified ten years ago. well, the official stand also wasn't very easy to take. about ten years later, when khrushchev took over in russia, and he very soon propose a very sharp mutual reduction in offensive military weaponry. he understood very well that the
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much weaker soviet economy couldn't possibly sustain an arms race with the united states and still hope to develop. well, when the u.s. dismissed the author, as it did, he carried out the reduction unilaterally and kennedy did react to that. he reacted with a very sharp increase in military spending, which the russian military later tried to match, and that is taking the economy as khrushchev had anticipated. actually that was the crucial moment of the soviet collapse, and the economy stagnated since then. whatever one thinks of the defensive pretext for nato, at least it had some credibility, but what happens when the soviet union is gone in a pretext disappears? well, it got more extreme. gorbachev made an astonishing concession. he permitted a unified germany
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to join a hostile military alliance run by the global superpower. that is astonishing. in light of history, germany alone had practically destroyed were shut twice in a century. now there was quid pro quo. this is bush number one in james baker. it had been thought, until a couple of months ago, that bush and baker promised not to expand nato to the eastern european former soviet satellites, but there was the first careful study of the original documents that just came out by mark grammar, a cold war historian, and he believes he is refuting charges of u.s. duplicity but in fact what the shows this that it is much more cynical than what had been assumed. it turns out that bush and baker promised gorbachev that nato wouldn't even fully extend to east germany.
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i quote them, they told gorbachev, no nato forces would never be deployed on the territory of the former german ddr of east germany. nato's jurisdiction or forces would not move eastward. they also assured gorbachev that nato would be transforming itself into a more political organization. well, there's no need to comment on that promise, but what follows tells us a lot more about the cold war and its aftermath. right after that, clinton came into office. one of the first things he did was to begin the expansion of nato to the east in violation of radical-- erratical violation of the commitment process accelerated with bush's the general aggressive militarism. these are severe security threats to russia, to naturally reacted by developing more
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offensive military capacity. all of this was a serious threat to human survival. obama's national security adviser, james jones, he has a still more expansive conception. he calls for expanding nato for the to the east and the self, becoming in effect the u.s. run global intervention force, as it is today in afghanistan. the secretary general of nato, the dutch officer, he informed the nato meeting that nato troops have to guard pipelines to transport oil and gas directive from the west, and more generally they do have to protect sea routes used by tankers and other crucial infrastructure of the global energy system. old that opens up a new phase of western imperial domination.
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a a polite term for it is bringing stability and peace. that is what is happening now in af-pak, afghanistan and pakistan is the region is now called, obama is building enormous new embassies and other facilities on the model of the city within a city in baghdad. these are like no embassies anywhere in the world. and, they are signs of an intention to be there for a long time. right now in iraq, something interesting is happening. obama's pressing iraqi government not to permit their referenda that is required by the status of forces agreement. that is an agreement that was forced down the throats of the bush administration and which had to formally renounce its primary warnings in the face of massive iraqis resistance.
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the washington's current objection to the referendum was explained to days ago by "new york times" correspondent, mullahs aruban. obama fears that the iraqi population might reject the provision that delays u.s. troop withdrawal to 2012. they might insist on immediate departure of u.s. forces. iraqi analysts in london-- [applause] the head of the iraqi foundation for democracy and development in london, he explained, this is an election year for iraq. no one wants to appear that he is appeasing the americans. anti-americanism is popular now in iraq, as indeed it is then throughout and that is familiar
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to anyone who is read these western run polls, the pentagon run polls. the current u.s. efforts to prevent, to prevent the legally required referendum are extremely revealing. sometimes they are called democracy promotion. well, while obama is signaling very clearly his intention to establish a firm in large-scale presence in the region, he is also lets you know sharply escalating the afpak war, following the strategy to drive the taliban into pakistan with potentially awful results for this extremely dangerous and unstable state, which is facing insurrections throughout its territory. these are the most extreme in the tribal areas, which cross the af-pak border.
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it is an artificial one imposed by the british, called the tyrannic line in the same people live on both sides of its, pashtun drives and they have never accepted it. in fact the afghanistan government never accepted either as long as it was independent. that is where most of the fighting is going on. one of the leading specialist in the region, zoelleck harrison, he recently wrote that the outcome of washington's current policies, obama's policies, might well be what he calls an islamic-sunnistan, pashtun based, separate kind of a quasistate. the pakistani ambassador had warned that the taliban and pashtun nationalism emerged, we have had it and we are on the verge of that. the prospects become still more ominous with the escalation of
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drawn attacks that embittered the population with a huge civilian toll in more recently, a couple of days in fact, with the unprecedented authority that is just been granted to general stanley mcchrystal, who is taking charge. he is kind of a wild side special forces assassin who has been put in charge of having the operations. petraeus' owned counterinsurgency adviser in iraq, david kilkullen, colonel i think, he describes the obama petraeus, mcchrystal policies as a fundamental strategic error which may lead to the collapse of pakistan. he says it is a calamity that would dwarf all of the current issues and given the country's size, strategic location and nuclear stockpile, it is also not too encouraging that pakistan and india are now rapidly expanding their nuclear
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arsenals. pakistan's nuclear arsenals were developed with reagan's crucial aid and india's nuclear weapons programs got a major shot in the arm with their recent u.s. indian nuclear agreements, also a sharp blow to the non-proliferation treaty. two countries have twice come close to nuclear war, kashmir and they are also engaged in a proxy war in afghanistan. these developments pose a very serious threat to world peace. and human-to-human survival. a lot to say about this crisis but in the time here. coming back home, with it the deceit hear about the monster is the enemy was six year or not, sincere or not, suppose it was 50 years ago, americans had been given a choice of directing their tax money to development
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of information technology so that their grandchildren could have ipod's and the internet, or else putting the same funds into developing a livable and sustainable socioeconomic order. they might very well have made the latter choice. that is standard. there is a striking gap between public opinion and public policy. a host of major issues, domestic and foreign, and least my judgment public opinion is often a lot more sane. it also tends to be fairly consistent over time, which is pretty astonishing because public concerns and aspirations, if there even mentioned, are marginalized and ridiculed. it is one very significant feature of the yawning democratic deficit, which we call in other countries, the
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failure of formal democratic institutions to function properly, and that is no trivial matter. rn dowdey roy has a book to come out in which he asked whether the evolution of formal democracy in india and the united states, our words might turn out to be the endgame of the human race and that is not a reliable question. it should be recalled that the american was-- republic was founded on the principle that there should be a democratic deficit. james medicine, the main framer of the constitutional order, his view was that power should be in the hands of the wealth of the nation, the more responsible set of men who have sympathy for property owners and their rights. medicine sought to construct a system of government that in his words would protect the minority from the majority.
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that is why the constitutional system that he framed did not have the coequal branches. the executive was supposed to be the administrators and the legislature, which the legislature was dominic but not the house of representatives, or rather the senate. where power was vested in protected from the public in many ways. that is where the wealth of the nation would be concentrated. this is not overlooked by historians, gordon wood for example summarize this. the phos of the founders saying that the constitution was intrinsically an aristocratic documents designed to check the democratic tendencies of the period, delivering power to a better sort of people and excluding those who were not rich, wellborne or prominent from exercising political power. all through american history there has been a constant struggle over this constraint
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version of democracy and popular struggles have won a great many rights. nevertheless, concentrated power and privilege clings to the madisonian conception, changes form as circumstances change. by will 42 there was a significant change. business leaders and intellectuals recognize that the public and one in of rights so that they can be controlled by force, so it would be necessary to do something else, namely to turn to control of the attitudes and opinions. these were the days when the huge public relations industry merged in the freest countries in the world, britain and the united states, where the problem was most severe. the public relations industry was devoted to what walter lippman approvingly called a new heart in the practice of
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democracy, the manufacture of consent, called the engineering of consent and the phrase of his contemporary widmer bernays, one of the founders of the pr industry. both litman and bernays had taken part in woodrow wilson's state propaganda agency, which is its orwellian term. it was created to try to drive the pacifist population to jingoist fanatiscism and hatred of, of all things, german and it succeeded, brilliantly in fact. and it was hoped that the same techniques could insure what are called the intelligent minorities would rule, and that the general public that have been called ignorance and meddlesome outsiders, would serve their function as spectators, not participants. these are all very highly
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respected progressive's saison democracy and by people, by a man who was the leading public intellectual of the 20th century and was a wilson, roselle kennedy progressive's. they capture the thinking of progress of opinion, so president wilson, he held a news leak of gentleman with elevated the ideals must be empowered to preserve stability and righteousness. that is naturally the perspective of the founding fathers. ..
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>> it's called the time of troubles. what the west seeses a the crisis, namely the financial crisis, that will be presumably patched up somehow or other, but leaving the institutions that created it pretty much in place. the treasury department permitted away t.a.r.p. repayments, which actually reduced capacity. it was touted as giving money back to the public. in fact, as was pointed oat right away, it reduces the capacity of banks to helped, although it does allow them to
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pour money into the pockets of the few who matter, and the mood on wall street was captured by two bank of new york employees, who predicted that their lives and pay would improve even if the broader economy did not. that's paraphrasing adam smith's observation that the architects of policy protect their own interests, no matter how grieve vowels the effect on others, and they are the architects made sure to staff his economic advisors from that sector. which has been pointed out to former chief economist of the ims, sam johnson pointed out that the obama administration is just another pocket of wall street, as he put it, throughout the crisis the government has taken extreme care not to upset
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the interests of the financial institutions or question the basic outlines of the system that got us here, and the elite business interests who played a central role in creating the crisis, with the implicit backing of the government, they're still there and now using their influence to prevent precisely the set of reform that are needed, and fast, to pull the economy out of its nose-dive. he says the government seems helpless or unwilling to act against them, which is no surprise, considering who constitutes and who backs the government. well, there's a far more severe crisis, even for the rich and powerful. it happens to be discussed in the same issue of the new york review i mentioned. article by bill mckevin, who has been warning for years about the dire impact of global
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warming. his current article, worth reading, relies on the british report which is sort of the gold standard now. on this basis he concludes, not unrealess quickly, that 2009 may well turn out to be the decisive year in the human relationship with our home planet. the reason is there's a conference in december in copen hagen which is supposed to set up a new global accord on global warming, and he says it will tell us whether or not our political systems are up to the unprecedented challenge that climate change represents. he things that the signals are mixed. to me that seems kind of optimistic, unless there's really a massive public campaign to overcome the insistence of the managers of the state corporate sector on privileging
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short-term gain for the few over the hope that their grandchildren might have a decent future. well, the picture could be a lot more grim even than the stearn report predicts, and that's grim enough. a couple days ago a group of m.i.t. scientist released the result0s of what the called the most come send modeling about how much hotter the climate will get in this century and says without rapid and massive action the problem will be as twice as severe as previously estimated a couple years ago, and could be even worse than that because their model does not fully incorporate positive feedbacks that can occur. for example, the increased temperature that's -- is causing a melting of the perma froth
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which is going to release neglect -- methane. he said must start now and overcome in the coming decades to lower greenhouse ecommitting gas technologies and there's very little sign of that. further motion while new technologies are essential, the problems go well beyond that, and in fact they good beyond the current tech -- technical debates about cap and trade devices discussed in congress. we have to mace something more far-reaching. we have to face up to the need to reverse huge state corporate social engineering projects of
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the post second world war period. which very consciously -- [applause] >> they very consciously promoted an energy-wasting and environmentally destructive fossil fuel economy. didn't happen by accident. that's the whole massive project of suburbanization and instruction of inner cities. the state corporate program began with a conspiracy by general motors, firestone rubber, standard oil of california to buy up and destroy efficient electric transportation systems in los angeles and dozens of other cities. they were actually convicted of criminal conspiracy and given a tap on the wrist and a $5,000 fine. the federal government then took over. it relocated infrastructure and
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capital stock to suburban areas and created a huge interstate highway system under the usual protection of defense. railroads were displaced be government-financed air transport. the public played almost no role, apart from choosing within the narrowly structured framework of options, that are designed by state corporate managers. they're supported by vast campaigns to fabricate consumers with created wants, borrowing. one result is the atomization of the society and the entrapment of isolated individuals with huge debts. these efforts grew out of the recognition that i mentioned a century ago that democratic achievements have to be
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curtailed by shaping attitudes and beliefs. as the business press put it, directing people to superficial things of life, like fashionable consumption. all of that is necessary to ensure that the opulent minority are protected from ignorant and meddlesome outsiders, and let me just add a personal note. i came down here by the jewel in the crown of new high speed railroad technology. the first time i came from boston to new york was 60 years ago, and there was improvement since then. it was five minutes faster today than it was 60 years ago. [applause] >> while state corporate power
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is vigorously promoting privatize sayings of life and maximal waste of energy, it was undermining the efficient choices that the market doesn't and can't provide. that's another highly destructive, built-inmarket inefficiency. to put it simply, if i want to get home from work in the evening, the market does allow me the choice between, say, ford and toyota, but doesn't allow me the choice between a car and a subway, which would be much more efficient. maybe everybody wants it but the market doesn't allow the choice. that's a social decision, and in a democratic society it would be the decision of an organized public, but that's just what the elite attack on democracy seeks to undermine. these consequences are right before our eyes in a way that is
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surreal. the wall "wall street journal" a report about the transportation official is meeting in spain, and rail companies are lining up for some potentially lucrative u.s. contracts for high-speed rail projects. at stake is $13 billion in stimulus funds that the obama administration is allocating to upgrading existing raillines and built new ones that will one day rival europe's, so think what is happening, spain and other european countries are hoping to get u.s. taxpayer funding for high-speed rail and related infrastructure, at the very same time washington is busy dismantling lead are sectors of u.s. industry and ruining the lives of workers and communities, who could easily do it themselves. it's pretty hard to conjure up a
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more damning indictment of the economic system that's been constructed by state corporate managers. surely the auto industry could be reconstructed to produce what the country needs using its highly skilled work force. [applause] >> but that's not even on the agenda. it's not even being discussed. rather, we go to spain and we will give them taxpayer money for them to do what we steroid the capacity to do it here. it's been done before. during world war ii, kind of a semi-command economy, government-organized economy, the whole -- that's what happened. the industry was reconstructed for the purposes of war, dramatically. not only ended the depression but initiated the most spectacular period of growth in
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economic history in four years. u.s. industrial production about quaddropled and as the economy's retooled for war ask that laid the basis for the goldennage that followed. warnings about the purposeful destruction of u.s. production capacity have been familiar for dem candidate, -- decades. he pointed out a sensible way to reverse the process. the state corporation prosecute leadership has other commitments but there's no reason for passivity on the part of the' public, the so-called stakeholders, workers and the community, and with enough popular support they could take over the plants and carry out the task of reconstruction themselves. [applause]
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>> it's not a very exotic proposal. one of the standard texts on corporations in the economics literature points out that nowhere is it written in stone that the short-term interests of corporate shareholders in the united states -- in the united states deserve a higher priority than all other corporate stakeholders, workers and community. that's a state corporate decision. doesn't have anything to do with economic theory. it's also important to remind ourselves that the notion of workers control is as american as apple pie. [applause] >> kind of suppressed but it's there. in the early days of the industrial revolution in new england, working people took it for granted that those who work in the mills should own them,
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and they regarded wage labor different from slavery only in that it was temporary, also abraham lincoln's view. there have been immense efforts to drive this thoughts out of people's heads to win what the business world calls the everlasting battle for the minds of men. on the surface they have have appeared to have succeed but i don't think you have to dig too deeply to find out they're latent and can be revived, and there have been some important concrete efforts. one of them was undertaken 30 years ago in youngstown ohio, where u.s. steel was going to shut down a major facility at the heart of this steel town. and there were substantial protests bit the work force and by the community. then in was an effort, to bring to the courts the principle that stakeholders should have the
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highest priority. the effort failed that time, but with enough popular support it could succeed, and right now is a propishes time to revive such efforts, although it would be necessary to overcome the effects of the concentrated campaign to drive our own history and culture out of our mind. there was a very dramatic illustration of success of this campaign just a few months ago. in february, president obama decided to show his sol dared -- solidarity with working people. he went to illinois to give a talk at the factory. the factory he chose was the caterpillar organization. that was over the strong objection of church groups and peace groups that were protesting they're providing the
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weapons of mass destruction in occupied territories. apparently fort gotten was something else. in help 1980s, after reagan had dismantled the air traffic controllers union, the caterpillar managers decided to rescind their contract with the auto workers and brought in scab workers. that practice is illegal in other industrial countries, apart from south africa at the time. not now. now the united states is in splendid isolation as far as i am aware. at that time obama was a civil rights lawyer in chicago, and he certainly read the chicago tribune, which ran very careful study of these events. they reported that the union was stunned to find that unemployed
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workers crossed the picket line with no remorse, while caterpillar workers found little moral support in their community. this is one of the many communities where the union had lifted the standard of living for entire communities. wiping out these memories is another victory in the relentless campaign to destroy workers are rights and democracy, which is constantly waged by the highly class-conscious business classes. the union leadership refused to understand. it was only in 1978 that uaw president doug frazier recognized what was happening and criticized the leaders of the business community -- i'm quoting him -- for raging a one-sided class war in this country, war against working people, the unemployed, the poor, the minorities, the very
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young and the very old, and even many in the middle class of our society, and for having broken and discarded the fragile, unwritten compact previously existing during a period of growth and progress. that was 1979. and in fact, placing one's face in a compact with owners and managers is a suicide pact. the uaw is discovering that right now as the state corporate leadership proceeds to eliminate the hard-fought gains of working people, wife dismantleling the productive core of the economy and sending the secretary of transportation to spain to get them to do what american workers could do at taxpayer expense, of course. that's only a fragment of what is underway, and it highlights the importance of short and long-term strategies to build
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and in part resurrect the foundations of a functioning democratic society. the one short-term goal is to revive a strong independent labor movement. in its heyday it was critical base for advancing democracy and human and civil rights. it's a primary reason why it's been subjected to such unremitting attack and policy and propaganda. an immediate goal right now is to pressure congress to permit organizing rights, the employer free choice act legislation -- [applause] >> -- that was promised but now seems seems to be languishing, and a longer term goal is to win the educational and cultural battle waged with such bitterness in the one-sided class war that the
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uaw president perceived far too late. that means tearing apart an enormous edifice of delusions about the markets, free trade and democracy, that has been constructed over many years, and to overcome the marginalization of the public. of all the crisises that aflick us, the own feeling that this growing democratic deficit may be the most severe. unless it's reversed, the forecast might prove accurate, in the not distant future. the performance in which the public are spectators might well lead to inexorably to what she calls the end game for the human race. thanks. [applause]
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[applause] [applause] >> gnome chomsky, professor at the mast institute of technology, is the author of dozens of books, including
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failed states; the beckett for rum, which promotes activism. hosted this event. join the conversation on civil rights and race relations with npr and fox news analyst juan williams. live sunday at noon eastern on book tv's indepth on c-span 2. >> this summer, book tv is asking, what are you reading? >> hi, this summer i'm going to be reading a book i have been looking forward to, three cups of tea, about a person who is an out doors person who was helped in his mountain climbing by the people of afghanistan and pakistan, and he started girls schools in those communitieses. and i'm looking forward to
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reading that book this summer. >> to see more summer reading lists and other program information, visit our web site at book >> for the 2009 book expo america in new york city, here with johnny temple. johnny, tell us what you have coming out. >> this fall, one of the books we are most excited about is a graphic novel by the great black film micker melvin van peekles, a book that inspired a new film of his that is premiering in august and september simultaneous with the publication of the book. he is the godfather of the black
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exploitation movement, we're publishing a book by mike farrell whose best known for the role of bj honeycutt on m.a.s.h., and this is a road book, travel memoir, and we're putting him back on the road, and we're keeping him busy. >> what is -- how long have you been publishing backs? >> since 1977. literary fiction is the heart and soul of the company. we have an outsider sincibility, though some web books are quite popular, but our book store is often provocative, and we do a little bit of nonfiction as well, political nonfiction, writers who we publish in the nonfiction realm include mike
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farrell and other cultural heroes. >> you're the publisher and founder. why did you decide start a publishing house? >> i stumbled into book publishing. in my previous life i was a rock and roll musician, and i spent most of the 1990s touring the world with my ban, putting out albums, and when a finally arrived at the thing that rock and rollers do best, making money, after i made some money, i publish a book as an experiment, and i found that i really enjoyed publishing the book. it was quite successful. i published a second book, it was a hobby, and after publishing three or four books i had the publishing bug and started transitioning into book publishing and there's no looking back. >> the publisher is based in brooklyn, and you're the founder of the brooklyn book festival.
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>> the brooklyn book festival is hosted by brooklyn bureau hall. it was one mayor and five bureaus and each burrough has an elected burrough president, and brook rein's president is marty markowitz, and when he came into office five or six years ago, he always wanted to start a big book festival because brooklyn is the home of creators and hat a literary tradition dating back to walt whitman, richard wright, and these days we have many best-sellers living in brooklyn. so it was natural place for a book festival, and i contacted the hall and was able to help them realize the vision of book festival, and it was quickly become the city's best book festival. this year, september 13th, will bell the festival.
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we have hail 150 exhibits-publishers, lit was say -- lit was si,. >> johnniy temper, founder of the brooklyn brook festival. thanks. >> thank you very much. >> here's a look at some upcoming book fairs and festivals over the next few months:
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>> from freedomfest 2009, in las vegas, a mock trial to determine whether free market capitalism caused the 2008 economic meltdown. jeff madrick, off of the case for big government, and stephen moore, coauthor of the lost end of pros -- prosperity. this is an hour and 15 mines

Book TV
CSPAN August 1, 2009 11:00pm-12:30am EDT

Noam Chomsky Education. (2009) Noam Chomsky ('American Power and the New Mandarins').

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